Wednesday, May 18, 2005

America - The Middle Finger: President and CFO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, recently made a speech at Columbia University in which she compared each continent to one of the five fingers - Africa's the pinky, Asia's the thumb, blah, blah, blah. She's catching some flack, though for her characterization of America (and not North America, but the U.S. in particular):
Finally, the US (not Canada mind you) - yes, you guessed it - the middle finger. She then launched into a diatribe about how the US is seen as the middle finger to the rest of the world. The rest of the world sees us as an overbearing, insensitive and disrespectful nation that gives the middle finger to the rest of the world. According to Ms. Nooyi, we cause the other finger nations to cower under our presence. But it is our responsibility, she continues, to change the current state of world opinion of the US. It is our responsibility to make the other fingers rise in unison with us as we move forward.
Now, there's a little disagreement about the context of her statements and New Criterion and Powerline are having some back and forth with Pepsi about releasing the entire speech. I could really care less what Ms. Nooyi thinks of America, I'm still gonna drink Coke (at least when faced with an either/or scenario and I'm really thirsty), but her analogy doesn't work. America is the thumb, no matter what Asia's "yearning" for. Without the thumb, you can do very, very little. Other than pick your nose. And she's right on that one. That's Europe.

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